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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2009

Foreword 2009

page 4

Foreword 2009

It is with pleasure that I write this foreword for a further Nelson Historical Society Journal. With the start of a new volume, Karen Price of Contexo, has created a new, more visual layout, which I hope you enjoy. As this is the last year of my two year term as President, I am delighted to reflect that we have been able to publish two Journals in that time. I firmly believe that our Journal is a tangible benefit of your annual membership.

Once again our Society members, and a local historian, have responded to the call for historical articles. With the addition of the 2008 Jeff Newport Memorial winning historical essay, we have eleven articles. A membership application page has also been included, in the interest of encouraging further membership.

There are three exciting information technology innovations which are facilitating historical research for Journal articles, or which will take effect in future.

Firstly, the internet age has brought a very valuable research tool, the National Library web site Papers Past, which enables us to search old New Zealand news-papers in the comfort of our homes. Some of these newspapers, including the Nelson Examiner, can be searched by key word topics, with all articles featuring those words being selected. This invaluable tool to researchers will become increasingly useful as more papers are made searchable. Previously, we have had to spend hours poring over old newspapers, or going frame-by-frame through microfilms, in museums or libraries. Papers Past, was the topic of a talk in May 2009, by visiting National Library staff, who outlined how the web site works and gave a timetable for further newspaper digitising.

Secondly, the Combined Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough Libraries' "Top of the South Stories" web site, The Prow, was officially launched on February 15, 2009 at Founders Park. The site can be accessed at theprow.org.nz and features a whole page 5selection of history stories, with images, from the top of the South Island. This development will be invaluable to those researching local history topics, including children, and will raise general awareness of our heritage.

Thirdly, the Friends of Nelson Libraries project to microfilm and then digitise all our past Journals has obtained all but a few copyright approvals from the authors or their descendants. The next step will be to have the journals microfilmed. It is hoped that the films will then be digitised, which would bring the possibility of making the Journals available on a web site, and to eventually be word searchable.

We certainly live in interesting times, with much advancement in information technology.

Finally, thank you to all article contributors, Dawn Smith for her editorial work, Jean Coulthard for proof reading and Karen Price for design and layup. I hope you enjoy reading this Journal and investigating the web sites mentioned, and that it will all ultimately inspire you to prepare articles for the next issue.

Ken Wright

President, April 2009